Rail Freight Properties Directory

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Purpose and Content of this Directory

  • The purpose of the Rail Freight Properties Directory is to identify properties located along the regional and shortline railroads in Pennsylvania that have the potential to be rail served. The creation of this Directory is important because it serves as a valuable resource to promote economic development, to increase the traffic base of the regional and shortline railroads and to foster on going collaborative efforts and communication between the railroads, economic development contacts, chambers of commerce, planning agencies, industrial real estate agents, developers, property owners, and all others that were a resource for the development of this Directory. It also serves as a marketing tool to attract prospective businesses who are looking to locate or expand in Pennsylvania. This Directory compliments the directories of the Class I railroads.
  • This Directory identifies 205 properties that have the potential to be rail served. These 205 properties are located in 45 counties in the Commonwealth and are served or have the potential to be served by 51 regional or shortline railroads in Pennsylvania. Each property is described in a site report and is accompanied by a location map and a site map with property boundaries.

Organization of this Directory
  • This Directory is organized into three geographic regions - Western, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania. Each begins with a map that shows the region within Pennsylvania and in relation to neighboring states and cities. This map is followed by an enlarged map that shows the numbered locations of the industrial properties within that region. The sites are then listed in tabular form with the map code, site name, size, county and serving railroad. The counties within each region are listed in alphabetical order and within each county the sites are listed alphabetically by site name.
  • The individual site reports follow the alphabetical listing. For each property, the first page consists of color maps showing the county within the Commonwealth; the site location within a 70 to 100 mile wide portion of a state highway map; and an outline of the property boundaries within a three to five mile wide map of the locale.
  • The map page is followed by a two to three page site report. Each report provides information that is specific to that property and its characteristics. Information is provided on site location; site characteristics; utilities; highways/airports/ports; buildings; railroad service firms served by this railroad; other site services; government districts; sale/lease/availability; and contacts for follow-up on the property. These contacts are the critical link for the development and potential sale and/or lease of the property.
  • This Directory is the product of the Bureau's outreach initiative. The properties that were identified, all site characteristics, location, and site maps are the result of collaborative efforts with officials of the regional and shortline railroads, economic development agencies, counties and municipalities, chambers of commerce, planning commissions, industrial real state agents, property owners and many others. All have contributed to the process and this Directory is their voice, their input and efforts to support and sustain the economy of the Commonwealth. This process is the foundation that will help generate future efforts to develop, update, identify and add new properties that have the potential to be served by the regional and shortline railroads in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The Railroad System in Pennsylvania
  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has an extensive system of freight railroads with more than 5,000 miles of rail line in active service. Pennsylvania is served by all three major eastern railroad systems - Norfolk Southern Railway (NS), CSX Transportation (CSX) and Canadian Pacific Railways (CP). The ability to be served by these railroads helps keep Pennsylvania businesses competitive in the national and global marketplace.
  • Shortline and regional railroads connect with the Class I railroads, and they are one of the most important elements of the transportation system. They provide access to many excellent business properties and function as an economic development tool for businesses willing to locate on theses industrial sites. Pennsylvania is served by seventy regional and shortline railroads, more than any other state. These railroads range from shortlines that operate on a few miles of track within a single county, to major regional systems serving as many as twelve counties. The regional and shortline railroads are an integral part of the Pennsylvania transportation network and they provide a competitive edge for Pennsylvania business by providing access to the industrial properties listed in this Directory.

Pennsylvania Support for Rail Freight Infrastructure
  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognizes the importance of the railroad system to its economy and has established programs that support and promote rail freight service. Acting through the Bureau of Rail Freight, Ports and Waterways, of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth administers the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) and the Capital Budget Rail Freight Assistance Program. On an annual basis, these programs provide financial assistance for investment in rail freight infrastructure. Grants are made for the rehabilitation and construction of facilities that will improve railroad operations and enhance railroad service. The regional and shortline railroads and their users are active participants in these programs.
  • The Bureau also recognizes and supports the efforts of the regional and shortline railroads to increase their traffic base by attracting rail using firms to locate along their lines. The creation of this Directory is the Bureau's response to the request of these railroads to compile a listing of properties along their lines that are available for industrial expansion. Financial assistance is available for rail infrastructure improvements to businesses that locate on these properties and use rail freight service. A complete description of the type of grant programs that are available for rail freight assistance projects through the Bureau of Rail Freight can be found on the Department's website at www.dot.state.pa.us. For additional financing and/or incentive programs visit the Team PA Business Resource Network.

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